Coda (2019 film)

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Coda
Coda film poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byClaude Lalonde
Written byLouis Godbout
Starring
Production
companies
1976 Productions, Clinamen Films
Distributed byGravitas Ventures
Release dates
  • November 22, 2019 (2019-11-22) (IFFI)
  • February 1, 2020 (2020-02-01) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
LanguageEnglish

Coda is a 2019 film starring Patrick Stewart, Katie Holmes, and Giancarlo Esposito about a concert pianist (Stewart) who suffers from performance anxiety late in his career.[1] The film is written by Louis Godbout and directed by Claude Lalonde.[1]

The film premiered at the 2019 International Film Festival of India.[2]

Plot[edit]

Henry Cole is an acclaimed classical pianist at the twilight of his career. He returns to the stage after a long absence following the death of his wife only to discover that his performance is marred by stage fright and overall mental instability. He barely escapes catastrophe as he suffers an anxiety attack on stage, running outside after finishing a number and smoking a cigarette.

At a post-recital press conference, he meets Helen Morrison, a music critic for The New Yorker. She wants to write a story about him and unsuccessfully asks for an interview. They meet again a few days later at Steinway Hall, where Henry suffers another episode while attempting to perform. Helen rescues him in extremis and earns his trust. Henry finally agrees to the interview.

Meanwhile, despite his agent Paul’s best efforts, Henry’s mental condition declines steadily. His recitals become more and more perilous, thus jeopardizing his comeback tour and his much anticipated and publicized final concert in London.

Henry is urged by Helen to travel to Sils Maria in the Swiss Alps in order to hear another pianist she once knew, famous for the therapeutic effect of his interpretation of Beethoven’s late piano sonatas. Once there, Henry’s symptoms at first worsen, but he gradually finds solace through walks in nature, curious but empathetic encounters with strangers, spirited chess matches with Felix, the owner of the inn, and the music of Beethoven.

Cast[edit]

Music[edit]

The musical numbers in the film are performed by Ukrainian-born pianist Serhiy Salov, who also makes a cameo appearance.[3]

Reception[edit]

Richard Roeper gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, stating that Stewart is "perfectly cast and delivers strong, carved-from-Shakespeare work as Sir Henry Cole."[1] Joe Leydon of Variety also gave a positive review, praising the acting and how Godbout's screenplay avoided the usual cliches even if the narrative was predictable.[3] A less favorable review came from John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter, who states that "no single event is fatally implausible, perhaps, but taken together it doesn't ring true.""[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Roeper, Richard (January 30, 2020). "'Coda': Patrick Stewart an anxious pianist in subtle story of empathy and ivory". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-11-28. Retrieved 2020-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (January 30, 2020). "'Coda': Film Review". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  4. ^ DeFore, John (January 30, 2020). "'Coda': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 8, 2020.

External links[edit]